Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday May 17 posts. Batch 1

Archbishop Rowan Williams’ Interview with the Diocese of Singapore’s Diocesan Digest

May 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 2:21 pm

Q – So how do you see then things developing pre-Lambeth 2008 and post-Lambeth? If you can make a wish, what will that be?

A – I’m hoping and praying that we shall have no more actions that polarize the Communion between now and Lambeth 2008. This is the point I have already brought to the Canadian House of Bishops which we are trying to get across to the American House of Bishops. But also trying to say to some other provinces: Don’t step up the level of intervention in this crisis because all of that is just pulling us further and further apart. So I hope we can have a bit of moratorium on this, and in a way, a reflection on what kind of a church we want to be. Now, some parts of the Communion would be happy if we could be just a federation of loosely connected local bodies. I’m not happy with that. We could be more than that. We should be more than that. We should be living out of each other’s life and resources and vision and be more closely connected. Because I think that is what the New Testament assumes the local church should do and not live in isolation. They lived with each other, from each other’s life. So, that’s my vision.

I see the next Lambeth Conference ideally as the place where Bishops can really be re-equipped for their central task of enabling mission and in every sense educating the people of God and equipping them for their outreach. That’s how I can see it.

Q – This actually gets you to my next question. Do you think therefore a sort of centrally driven or some sort of concerted organized effort through the Primates or Province representatives?

A – I think at the moment we are in a very confused state with the structure of the Anglican Communion. People turn to the Primates because there doesn’t seem to be anything else that works, a forum for people’s interest, that meets regularly, that can assemble at short notice, which can work together. At the same time, I don’t think the Primates’ Meeting ought to be isolated from other bodies. And I have some hope for the integration of the Primates in the Anglican Consultative Council. Perhaps that will give us a better tool. I think we do need in our shared counsel the voices of priests and lay people as well as Primates and bishops. And the challenge is how to find a structure that will help us cohere in that way. We have some good examples. In fact the meeting of the Theological Education group that has been going on in Singapore this weekend brings together bishops, priests, lay people for a common task around the Communion which is not driven I think by a London-based or a New York-based agenda. It’s owned by everybody. It’s quite a good model. I think we need that sense of the whole Communion setting the agenda and getting away from the suspicion, right or wrong, that the agenda’s been fixed from somewhere else.

Read it all.

Richard Walton: It’s time for the big-time consumers to pay up

May 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 1:06 pm

When I walked out of my house one morning this week to retrieve the Democrat, I was greeted by the foul taste of smoke, and it made me sick. Not literally sick, of course, but figuratively. I am sick to death of the recklessness, inconsiderateness and blatant laziness I am forced to endure on a daily basis. What’s worse, however, is that my 7-year-old daughter is actually sick. Home from school with a high fever due to allergy-related causes.

As most Tallahasseeans already know, the smoke is from the wildfires that are burning in southern Georgia and northern Florida, some 100 miles away. These are not the first such fires in recent Florida history, and they surely won’t be the last. But what many may not know - although they could if the cared to - is that throughout the world deserts are expanding, drought seasons are extending and fresh water supplies are evaporating, all of which create conditions rife for more wildfires. Therefore, it is now time - past time, truthfully - to start pointing fingers at the cause of this devastation.

We can no longer hide behind flaccid excuses of weather patterns supposedly moving in historical cycles, which is exactly what a prominent Tallahassee lawyer tried to tell me recently, as if we are simply in the midst of a quite natural 100-year drought cycle. The problem of climate change, global warming, environmental degradation, the destruction of creation, or whatever one wants to call it, has been apparent for at least 20 years now. Not scientifically conclusive, mind you. But there has been more than enough evidence to warrant caution.

Thankfully, many have heeded these global warnings. They have gone about their business conservatively; they have contributed financially; and they have acted self-sacrificially. At the same time, however, others have taken the opportunity to continue to conduct themselves with recklessness, selfishness and laziness. And I, for one, am sick of it.

Read it all.

Belfast Dean: Church appointment process wrong

May 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 1:04 pm

The Dean of Belfast, Dr Houston McKelvey, has criticised the appointments procedure for senior clergy in the Church of Ireland.

In a strongly-worded article in the current edition of Belfast Cathedral Digest, he said: “I don’t think that the Church of Ireland has got it right in terms of its process of recognising priests who could be bishops and having a method which enables their appointment.

“I am concerned that my Church is meant to be a model to the world. How can we hold politicians to account under the Gospel when they are at least the product of a much more open and accountable system? How can we talk about justice when our system would not pass the standards set for public appointments?”

The Dean’s comments come in the wake of the recent appointment of a new Bishop of Connor by the House of Bishops, following the earlier failure of the Electoral College to agree on a new Bishop-elect.

It should be stressed, however, that Dean McKelvey’s remarks were made in the period following the meeting of the Electoral College, and before the House of Bishops met and appointed the Bishop-elect Canon Alan Abernethy.

The Dean was clearly commenting on church procedures, and not on any individual clergy.

Under the Church of Ireland procedure an Electoral College of up to 60 people, representing clergy and laity, consider the election of a new bishop.

Read it all.

Bishop Lipscomb Announces Dates of his Official Departure

May 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 11:45 am

Read it all.

Mary Glasspool: Report of the Maryland Deputation to the 2007 General Convention

May 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 11:23 am

The 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church took place in Columbus, Ohio from June 12 - 21, 2006. Of lasting and striking importance was the election of both a new Presiding bishop: The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori; a new President of the House of Deputies: Ms. Bonnie Anderson; the establishment of achieving the Millennium Development Goals as a mission priority along with the endorsement of the ONE Episcopalian Campaign; work on Church Reparations for Slavery; a host of resolutions on justice, liturgical and ministry issues; and six resolutions addressing the Anglican Communion and our Church’s relationships and commitments to it and in it. These last were watched closely by people throughout the Anglican Communion as our Church made every effort to respond clearly, solidly, and fully to recommendations of the Windsor Report, published in October of 2004. Our Church not only “expressed regret for straining the bonds of affection in the events surrounding the General Convention of 2003,” but it also offered “its sincerest apology to those within the Anglican Communion who are offended by our failure to accord sufficient importance to the impact of our actions on our church and other parts of the Communion” and asked forgiveness. We reaffirmed in the clearest and strongest possible terms our commitment to interdependence in the Anglican Communion and our “desire to live into the highest degree of communion possible.” And we further pledged our commitment to the Listening Process and the Anglican Covenant Development Process - both of which were recommended in the Windsor Report. On the last day of General Convention, we passed Resolution B033, which “Calls upon Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.” You have probably heard much about this last, and doubtless you will hear more before this Convention is over. So I want to use this time to urge all of our participation in the Listening and Covenanting Processes, which, unfortunately, have gotten far less publicity.

First, I have a confession to make. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Primates, the Anglican leaders of the 38 Provinces worldwide. Whenever they meet, we usually read about it in the newspapers and online and we read their communiques and other people’s commentaries on their communiques and we may even, have responses to their communiques. And I was thinking. There are approximately 77 million Anglicans in the world who comprise the Anglican Communion. And there are 38 Primates. I’m not a numbers person so I did have to use a calculator, but I divided 38 by 77 million to discover what percentage of the Anglican Communion the Primates are by number and I got this: the Primates are four one-hundred-thousandths of a percent of the Anglican Communion! Now I say this with all due respect - and I’m not stupid: I realize that the Primates are chosen leaders of their Provinces. But the Episcopal Church is not exclusively a hierarchical Church. We are also a Church which values and honors the voices of lay people, deacons, and priests as well as bishops. We are a both-and Church, not an either-or Church. And every single one of us here is invited to participate in the Listening and Covenanting Processes of the Anglican Communion!

Read it all.

Bishop T.D. Jakes: Living Large, and Letting Go

May 16th, 2007 posted by kendall at 11:07 pm

He’s about to turn 50, and to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary. It’s time to take stock.

Is he happy? Satisfied?

Why wouldn’t he be? This is the fabulous Bishop T.D. Jakes. Neo-Pentecostal preacher of the famous mega-church Potter’s House in Dallas. He is a best-selling author, TV personality and head of TDJ Enterprises, which produces books, music and films. His church now has more than 30,000 members and when he last preached in Atlanta he drew more people than Billy Graham ever has. He lives in a mansion, drives a fancy car and wears sharp clothes. He is very, very big, literally and figuratively.

Still, he pauses a long time. “I am becoming satisfied,” he says finally. “I feel like I have little to prove and none to impress. I’m starting to settle in like a bear in a cave in winter. I’m a lot more comfortable in my own skin than I used to be. I’m finding my own sweet spot and I’m enjoying these years.”

This is what he recommends — for you and for me, for all of us. This is at the heart of his latest book, “Reposition Yourself: Living Life Without Limits.”

“Most people I encounter, they’re not happy,” he says in a recent interview in the restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel. “And we’re acting like it doesn’t matter. Either they’re in debt or their relationships are not going well.” The reason, he says, is that “we get stuck, we get trapped, either we have economic demands, or we need to fit in, or we have too many expectations for ourselves. We’re enslaved, we’re imprisoned by decisions made 20 years ago.”

And we get defined by people when they first meet us. “Oh, T.D. Jakes, preacher. But they put a period there where they should put a comma. I’m a lot of other things, too. . . . I want to do something else with the second half of my life.”

This is the perspective that comes with age. “Life itself is our most precious resource . . . and time. . . . We’re not where we were in our 20s. We’re losing our parents, our children are in their adolescence, and no matter how successfully busy we are, we are overwhelmed. It’s not about how to get money. Success is about being fulfilled.”

He says he is a work in progress, that he’s willing to ask himself questions he wouldn’t have asked 10 or 20 years ago. “Repositioning yourself gives you nimbleness of mind to evolve,” Jakes says. “We keep trying to fit ourselves into this box. Nobody fits in it. We try to color within the lines but creative people want a blank piece of paper. Every relationship — work, marital, political — becomes crystallized. You have to find fresh inspiration. You have to find it in living and enjoying.”

Read it all.


Post a Comment

<< Home